Sunday, November 16, 2014

After the Bob Avakian Cornel West meet at Riverside Church I´m taking Bob Avakian more seriously now.

I´ve been poking fun at Bob Avakian and his followers and also expressing sadness and pity for a few years now.  I out and out refused to engage with Avakian´s thoughts on two main grounds, one being that I found him irrelevant and his crew sadly ridiculous and the other being my life on a work/sleep/eat and commute 70 hour workweek (plus my hobby which is this blog.)

I am pretty much off the treadmill now.

Avakian has stopped being irrelevant as well. For one thing he has emerged from underground or exile and he has some cloutfull fans like Ed Asner and Cornel West plus he and  his crew raised $70,000 to run a full page ad in The New York Times to promote an apparently successful meeting in historically liberal Riverside Church, I wasn´t there but using the events page on Facebook as a reference well over 300 attended. paid good money and spent hours at the meet. This contrasts with their asshat fizzled seven hour Avakian movie marathon at Magic Johnson theater a while back.

I said on March 13, 2013 With a determined if small group of zealots insisting that we all know his name and understand his ideas he just might one day soon become "the next big thing" and I suspect that this post will get many visits over tome, As far as I know though, his name still brings a shrug here at the General Grant  Houses where a big push has been on for a couple of years.

I wonder how many Grant Houses residents showed up at this discussion and stayed the duration.

Let´s start with God and religion as they were in a sense the themes of the meeting to begin with. Full disclosure + I believe in God.  I was raised by inconsistently atheist Jews in public housing and for most of my life I have thought myself to be an atheist. Avakian published a book  on a couple of public speeched he´s given about religion. It´s both ignorant and dishonest. It´s hard to imagine an erudite and religious real Christian like Cornel West  giving the tract any respect.

  Pavel Andreyev, a self avowed atheist ripped Avakian another asshole on the subject of this "book." (much better than I could).

My second and final point on Avakian for this post is his use of the word" nigger" and his seeming identity crisis. He throws the word"  nigger" around while telling us how toxic and impermissable it is to throw that word around, 2.20/to 3.00 even for Black people. This son of privilege, who pretends he was a member of the Black Panther Party sends an Amos n Andyesque "Shout out to the homies in the hood ." He uses words like "respectable Negroes" and  "uncle Tom " to describe Black people, This son of a white liberal Judge  and a white mom, Ruth Schmull, thinks he has a ghetto pass to make believe he is Black. Maybe he does.

I plead to using that word myself in this blog. It was at the personal request of a friend of mine whose life is extremely precarious, is Black and who I did not want to refuse.
I've often said that I have no friends and am the friend of no one. (Exception- my estranged wife.) A full time taxi driver does not have the time, money, energy or even the inclination to be a real friend as in "here's the $500 to make your rent.- I know you'll pay it back when you can"  or "let's go see the Yanks beat Boston's ass up at the stadium."  Stuff like that.
But I see now that being a friend needn't be time, energy nor money consuming. The homeless ex taxi driver who grew up in Queensbridge like I did , the guy who's banned from the Gotham Yellow premises and who sits or leans on a fire plug outside the yard told me that I have been a "real friend" to him. A lot of drivers slip him a buck or two. I have conversations with him. He was out of sorts yesterday. He was disoriented and confused.  Wasn't certain why he was where he was or where he'd been earlier. I had never seen him like this. He's been on the street living on handouts for around a year. Not long ago he was approached by two white cops at his favorite subway station. They gave him ten bucks and went on their way. That goes to show that even the lowest of the low wants to think well of himself and so will do a good deed. Reminds me of the pimp who announced with pride " at least I pay my taxi fare!'
Today my friend seemed to be doing better. Cold weather is coming.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

From "daddy o" to "nigger"
There's a black guy who drove taxi for dozens of years who grew up where I grew up, (Queensbridge) attended the same schools, knew some of the same people, drove at Dover in the eighties like I did  drove at Glenties,, and at Gotham Bronx (same location different owner).
Last spring he got into a terrible accident and got fired. He's been  homeless ever since. For his own reasons he refuses the shelter system. At 70 he"s proud to have survived the winter. He says people approach him with money.
He hovers near the garage, having been told that he is banished. 

We often talk about this and that. He asked me to post this piece.
"Daddy o" was US colored peoples' 1920's slang whose meaning was around the same as " dude" or "man". It faded, I think it was eclipsed for a while with "man." "Daddyo" resurfaced in the 1950"s, becoming a white beatnik/hipster term.
"Colored people" was the accelted polite name for African American people.
The ubiquity of the word "nigger" bothers my friend a lot. By his upbringing and code of honor heold.'d pretty much be obliged to initiate physical combat with a non black person who would use this word within his earshot.  But it's Blacks and Hispanics who seem to use it all the time. I wonder what hispanics Accomplish with this word. My mother wahed my mouth with Ajax one time when it came back to her that I had used this word and caused a neighbor girl to cry. I was five years 
It looks to me and to him that a majority of black people use the word which might once have been a neutral term but it became a fighting word and an ultimate insult in the late nineteenth to early twentieth  century. Why do black people use the word so much?
A declaration that it's been detoxified?
A statement of solidarity?
A dare?
A means of excluding others from a conversation?
A form of self deprecation?
The New York City Council actually banned the word.
Some soften it as "nigga" or "nigguh".
Tupac Shakur created an acronym "Never Ignorant About Getting Goals Accomplished" which I used i  a post about the problems black people have with New York taxi drivers.